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Ali and Ali
The Deportation Hearings
By (author): Camyar Chai By (author): Guillermo Verdecchia By (author): Marcus Youssef
9780889227828 Paperback, Trade English General Trade DRAMA / Canadian Oct 15, 2013
$16.95 CAD
Active 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.35 in 96 pages Talonbooks
In this sequel to the hilarious and hard-hitting The Adventures of Ali & Ali and the aXes of Evil, the agitprop collaborative team of Camyar Chai, Guillermo Verdecchia, and Marcus Youssef turns its idiosyncratic brand of political satire to new global realities.

Following the election of U.S. president Barack Obama in 2008, collective optimism for a more tolerant, peaceful, and co-operative post-Bush world spreads to Canada – and to the backroom of Salim’s Falafel Shoppe in Toronto. There, Ali Hakim and Ali Ababwa, refugee entertainers from the fictitious, war-torn country of Agraba, are inspired to write a stage play in celebration of the new president’s message of “hope and change.” The premiere of their Yo Mama, Osbama! (or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Half-Black President) halts abruptly when an RCMP constable arrives at the theatre and arrests the pair for its financial ties to the Agrabanian People’s Front, an alleged “terrorist organization” on the Canadian government’s watch list.

Continuity becomes more apparent than change when Ali and Ali are swiftly put on trial. As the hapless playwrights try to defend themselves in the farcical deportation hearing that unfolds, racial and cultural stereotypes are invoked – and lampooned – as quickly as dubious evidence is presented. But, in the midst of the biting comedy, more serious questions are raised about the cost for some when we endeavour to protect the “freedoms” of others.

Cast of 1 woman and 3 men.

Camyar Chai has worked in theatre and film for more than twenty years and is the founder of Vancouver’s acclaimed Neworld Theatre. He has worked as a freelance actor, director, and writer as well as an arts educator.

Guillermo Verdecchia is a writer of drama, fiction, and film; a director, dramaturge, actor, and translator whose work has been seen and heard on stages, screens, and radios across Canada and around the globe. He is a recipient of the 1993 Governor General’s Award for Drama, for Fronteras Americanas.

Many of Marcus Yousseff’s plays were written or created with friends and colleagues. They include Winners and Losers, Leftovers, Jabber, How Has My Love Affected You?, Ali and Ali and the aXes of Evil, Adrift, Peter Panties, and A Line in the Sand. These have been performed across North America, Australia, and Europe, and recently off-Broadway. Marcus’s plays are also translated into multiple languages and published by Talonbooks and Playwrights Canada Press.

Well-known in Vancouver as a cultural advocate, Marcus is artistic director of Neworld Theatre, co-founder of Progress Lab 1422, and chair of the city of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council.

“Razor-sharp timing in a play loaded with controversy … funny and disturbing, all at the same time. It looks at both sides of the terrorism issue, from the point of view of the government and from the point of view of the accused, and both are deeply troubling.”
Globe and Mail

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